The International Eye Foundation (IEF) best summarizes the problem with this statement; "A stable but inherently unjust equilibrium exists with eye care in developing countries causing exclusion, marginalization, or suffering of patients with eye disease and eye care providers who do not have the authority, autonomy, or resources to change the situation. Choices that patients have for eye care are an unaffordable private sector or an inherently inefficient and poor quality public system. Ophthalmologists' and optometrists' choices are to stay in an inefficient, unproductive, and non-autonomous system; move out into a strictly private practice; or leave the country because they are unaware of how to develop a social enterprise practice."
The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness further states, Globally more than 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment. Of those at least 1 billion people have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or has yet to be treated. As usual, this burden is not borne equally: it weighs heavily on people from low- and middle-income countries, women, older persons and those from ethnic minorities.
Vision for the Poor and partner addresses the injustices in eye care in the developing world by funding the development of social service eye hospitals. Only by eliminating all barriers to access eye care by the poor can avoidable blindness be eliminated.
Vision for the Poor partner eye hospitals provide social service care whereby patients pay for services on a sliding scale based on their income. The very poor and children under 14 years old receive free care. A new Vision for the Poor eye hospital becomes self-supporting and sustainable within 2 years.
Vision for the Poor supports current partner eye hospital to increase capacity in Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru, Mexico, Burundi, Rwanda, Nigeria and Ghana.